Since its creation, the APWA Center for SUstainability has developed a series of tools, resources and professional development programs to further its goals and objectives. Now that a foundation has been laid for sustainability in public works, the Center Leadership Group determined that it was the appropriate time to take a step back and evaluate where we have been and where we would like to be in the long term.
Since July of 2012, the members of the APWA Center for Sustainability Leadership Group have been developing a five year strategic plan to guide the Center’s efforts and activities in the coming years The goal of the strategic planning effort was to identify the strategies and tactics, resource requirements and an implementation plan that will enable the Center for Sustainability to continue to bring the principles of sustainability to the public works profession. In formulating the plan, the Center Leadership Group identified that the building of sustainable communities is the greatest challenge to public works in the 21st Century.
The adopted Strategic Plan focusses on meeting this challenge and recommits APWA as an organization to the promotion and support of public works professionals’ efforts to advance sustainability in their communities. The Strategic Plan identifies six goals for the next five years:
(1) institutionalize sustainability principles and practices into all APWA operations so that APWA as an organization can demonstrate its commitment to sustainability;
(2) design and execute an effective marketing and outreach program on APWA Center for Sustainability activities, resources and accomplishments;
(3) leverage existing APWA resources, programs and initiatives to fully integrate sustainability throughout all APWA offerings;
(4) promote and support the Institute for Sustainable infrastructure and the EnvisionTM Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System;
(5) develop the next generation of sustainability leaders; and
(6) establish APWA as a leader on sustainability with other organizations considered key to influencing community sustainability.
The Center Leaders also identified a series of activities they can implement to ensure that the six identified goals of the strategic plan are implemented. For instance, the strategy identifies the integration of sustainable components or principles into the curriculum of APWA’s professional development activities to ensure that we are providing APWA members with the latest information on applying sustainability principles to public works management. The Strategic Plan also identifies highlighting the role the EnvisionTM rating system can play in helping a community meet its sustainability goals. Each of the goals and action items identified in the plan continues to solidify the foundation for public works professionals to take the lead in building sustainable communities for the 21st Century. The Strategic Plan also clarifies and further refines the role of the APWA Center for Sustainability. The APWA Center for Sustainability exisits to inform APWA members on best practices, tools, and knowledge, identifies and communicates a compelling case for sustainability in public works, and creates,complies, organizes and distributes information on creating sustainable communities.
Over the coming weeks, months and years the APWA Center for Sustainability Leadership Group will be working to see that the mission and vision of the APWA Center for Sustainability and the goals and actions identified in the Strategic Plan and Action Steps are fulfilled.